Research Finds Some Men Are Working More Traditional "Female" Jobs
Women are slowly but surely moving into male-dominated fields such as medicine, law, and business, and, on the flip side, it seems disadvantaged men are increasingly opting for traditional "female" jobs, including working as store clerks or in customer service, a new study found.
As The New York Times reports, researchers at Rutgers University examined 15 years of census data and tracked 448 occupations. They classified these occupations as male- or female-dominated if they employed more than 60 percent of one sex in 2000. Then, the researchers looked at those same fields in 2014 and considered them masculinized or feminized if their gender composition changed by at least four percent.
The researchers found that 27 percent of the occupations had masculinized or feminized over the years, the New York Times reports. Interestingly, work that is becoming masculinized is mostly made up of lower-status jobs.
"The share of women who work in stores selling products and answering customer questions fell 10 percent; the share for crossing guards and counter clerks each fell seven percent, and for textile workers it fell five percent," according to The New York Times. Men are less likely to move into higher-status, traditionally female jobs — think: nursing and teaching — now than they were in 2000.
Why? The men working lower-status, traditionally female jobs are "already disadvantaged in the labor market: black, Hispanic, less educated, poor, and immigrant," the newspaper says. As the availability of middle-skill fields such as clerical and manufacturing work fizzled out in recent years, more men moved into low-skill, low-paying jobs. Women, on the other hand, moved into more high-skill work.
The jobs that have become feminized — the ones that have at least four percent more females in 2014 than in 2000 — are mostly professional or managerial jobs. "Some examples of high-paying, high-status jobs done mostly by men in 2000 that had an increased share of women by 2014: supervisors of scientists, which had 19 percent more women, podiatrists with eight percent more, and chief executives with five percent more," according to the newspaper.
Previous studies have shown that the number of female CEOs is rising, and the number of women seeking STEM careers could soon follow. This research is yet another record of women breaking down gender barriers and breaking through glass ceilings.
The study has yet to be published, but more details on the findings can be read here.
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